Letters from our readers: San Francisco should keep its bans enforced 

Regarding San Francisco’s ban on plastic bags, which I totally support, I still could not help but laugh in irony at what I saw at my local Safeway the other day. While my groceries were being placed in a paper bag, all along the wall by the front windows were laid an endless supply of Styrofoam ice chests. Didn’t we ban this at some point too? Doesn’t Styrofoam, like plastic, end up clogging our sewer pipes as well? And while we’re on the subject, let’s get serious about banning smoking, since the sewer is also being clogged by billions of cigarette butts as well!

Duane Tapken
San Francisco

Circular salary argument

In the Aug. 6 article “Cops, firefighters tip pay scale,” San Francisco Police Officer Association President Gary Delagnes attempted to justify high salaries by citing the high cost of living in the Bay Area. This argument is completely circular and nonsensical.

A major factor in the high cost of living here is the high salaries and benefits of public employees, notably police and firefighters. Does anyone in government ever study economics? Public-sector employees enjoy generous compensation packages because taxpayers, unlike customers of private firms, cannot cut off the money.

Wages at a private company are ultimately limited by the willingness of customers to buy the product and pay the cost. In the public sector there is no such limitation because governments acquire their resources by taxation, which is confiscation backed up by threats of fines and prison sentences.

Leslie E. Mangus
San Francisco

How unions have changed

There was a time in the nation’s history when public employees were compelled to work long hours, provide their own work-related supplies and could be fired at the whim of unscrupulous bureaucrats. From there the public employee unions were born.

Employees from those days would be shocked at how public employee unions like the one for Muni operators have perverted a system established for provision of reasonable employee accommodations. It is now a system enabling excessive entitlements and salaries both for unscrupulous employees and the unscrupulous bureaucrats responsible for managing city resources.

Matt Mitguard
San Francisco

Another award for Obama

Just about the time President Barack Obama sent 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan, he got the Nobel Peace Prize. The Gulf of Mexico has now been devastated by the biggest environmental disaster in recent history. Obama claimed he took responsibility for the clean-up since Day One. Before the November election, I predict that the Gulf oil spill will be declared not so bad after all and Obama will be given an environmental award by the Sierra Club.

Robert Parkhurst
Redwood City

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Staff Report

Staff Report

A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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